Airedale’s apprenticeship scheme has eye to future

Airedale International has devised an apprentice scheme leading to management development and, ultimately, a supervisory role in the company. Two of the first apprentices on the scheme are David Smithson, 20 (right), and Elliot Cater, 21 (centre), pictured here with team coach Richard Connell receiving instruction on an automated sheet-metal-punching machine which is programmed via CAM. They are on a 3-day release to Leeds College of Technology. The scheme embraces the whole manufacturing process during its four years. David Smithson says, ‘What really impressed the college is that we spend six months in each area of production. In other company schemes, apprentices can often stay in one spot for the whole four years, which can diminish their prospects.’ Airedale’s comprehensive scheme means that at the end of their four years, both apprentices will have acquired all the necessary skills to build a complete air-conditioning system.

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